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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

What Researchers Need
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In order to find the most useful health statistics, the searcher must consider:
  • The type of information needed and
  • The user’s capability.

Assess Goals
Reference librarians begin by assessing the users’ perspectives.

Frequently, even the most mundane questions involve a complicated search. That is why success depends on understanding what you need to focus the effort. The alternative is to spend a large amount of resources searching.

Your Perspective
Researchers bring a wide variety of questions related to health statistics. Some are searching for the simplest fact while others seek elaborate resources. It is important to let the reference librarian you are working with know about your specific perspectives, capacity and needs. Here are some questions you should consider when searching yourself or asking for help.
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